Last night at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, fellow SLC member Ann Marie and I saw Chris Van Allsburg give an inspiring and entertaining lecture. Chris is a multiple award winning children's book author and illustrator, who's most famous books have been turned into movies (Jumanji and The Polar Express). I didn't know much about him, only that his work is very exact and precise, yet with a soft quality at the same time, and I've read the most famous books of his, and seen Jumanji (filmed in NH!). Since we were at an art school, he spoke a lot about his college experience at the University of Michigan, and later at RISD, and I learned that he started out as a sculptor, and worked as one professionally and successfully before sitting down one day to draw and then reluctantly letting his wife peddle his sketches out to publishers. When asked what he likes to do more - sculpting or books, he surprisingly answered sculpting.
He has worked in a variety of mediums for his books, and is always trying something new.
My favorite quote of the evening came when someone asked him what HIS favorite book was that he has done - not necessarily about the book's success - and he answered "The next one".... meaning that as an artist he is always hoping that the next piece of art is better than the one that came before it, and that we should strive to learn and improve with each project that we do. Smart words! You can learn more about Chris and see those sculptures of his on his website here.
All images used here came from amazon.com.